Holiday Hacks for an In-Law Proof Menu

There’s a fine line between casual observation and unsolicited critique. For some reason, our extended family always feels welcome to walk that line in our kitchen. So we assembled our favorite fool-proof, meal-hacking holiday menu, from sparkling sangria to a sweet & savory dessert, guaranteed to keep their mouths busy chewing and not “suggesting.”
holiday menu hacks

'Tis the season for wrapping presents, baking cookies, gulping down hot toddies, and....spending time with your in-laws!


While you might not be able to avoid those oh-so-pleasant comments about your "interesting way of cooking," you can take the stress out of holiday entertaining. Follow these five surefire recipe hacks to keep your sanity –– and your marriage –– intact. 

 

1. Bottoms Up 

Eggnog. White Russians. Hot Buttered Rum. The holidays wouldn't be the holidays without a seasonally-inspired cocktail in hand. But the truth is that most of these familiar festive flavors pack on a whole lotta sugar + a whole buncha empty calories. (And who really needs that after your mother-in-law says, "I thought you would want your husband to be healthy," right?) This year, tame the tasteless commentary with a light and refreshing glass of sparkling apple cider sangria. 

                                                Source: How Sweet Eats 

Here's how to make it:

1 bottle pinot grigio

2 1/2 cups fresh apple cider

1 cup club soda

1/2 cup ginger brandy

3 honeycrisp apples, chopped

3 pears, chopped

*Combine ingredients in a pitcher. Stir. Serve. Enjoy! 

 

2. The Pre-Dinner Nibble

Let's face it: dinner is never ready as early as you planned. And to top it off, everyone arrives on empty stomachs in preparation for the feast that lies ahead. Rather than let Bob & Susan get overly tipsy from one-too-many sparkling apple cider sangrias (and have to listen to the onslaught of comments about your children's "creative" wardrobe choices), hold over the hangry vibes by serving up a Red, Green & Veggie-Loaded Margherita CAULIPOWER Pizza before the main course. Head to our Facebook page to get the ingredients and instructions! 

Have you voted for your fave ReciPEACE? You should! We're donating $1K each to 10 different charities across the country, and your "Like" counts! Head to Instagram to support good food and a good cause. 

 

3. It's All About the Sides

From butternut squash mac & cheese to maple cranberry brussels sprouts and browned butter garlic mushrooms, head to our Pinterest board to check out some of the superb veggie-based side dishes that we can't help but salivate over. 

 

4. Chicken > Turkey 

Still tryptophan'd out from Turkey Day? We get it. This one pan cranberry balsamic roasted chicken definitely won't have anyone snoozing at the dinner table. Preheat the oven to 375°F and gather up the following ingredients: 

2.5 pounds chicken thighs or breasts, with skin on

1/2 cup fresh cranberries

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp gluten-free tamari sauce or coconut aminos

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper 

2 garlic cloves (or 1 tsp minced) 
 

*Get the full instructions here

 

5. Pass the Pie 

Buttery crust, tart apples, and a decadent salted caramel sauce? Sign us up! Not only does this recipe taste amaaaaaze, it's also vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free (but trust us, your in-laws won't even know the difference). Get the ingredients and baking instructions here

                                                 Source: From My Bowl

 

Are you (mentally) preparing for a big holiday dinner with your in-laws? Share your best recipe hacks by tagging us on Instagram